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Sober Nights Out Are the Best Nights Out

Jamie Rodney enthuses on sobriety.

Now, chances are you clicked this article for one of two reasons. Either you’ve just seen the headline, spat coffee over your laptop and are now reading this to figure out what depraved logic could motivate one of your peers to eschew the benefits of alcohol, or you’re the parent of a student or prospective student, hoping to use this article in what I can already assure you will be a vain attempt to convince your child that they can make it through university on green tea and brown rice. If you’re the latter, then I’m afraid you’ve come to the wrong place – I am not a good role model for your offspring, or even a decent human being. If you’re the former, however, then bear with me.  

Let’s set the scene. You are two or three Pablos deep in the Union, having pre’d extensively and intensively with your friends, and you feel liberated. We’ve all been there. The soaring sensation of invincibility as you throw back a shot, pounding all your worries into the back of your mind with ever-increasing quantities of liquid courage. This is your time. This is your place. You finally have the confidence to talk to your crush, to tell that person who’s been irritating you all semester exactly what you think of them.  

And that’s great. Absolutely great, until you wake up the next morning and realise that, as well as being weak, hungover, and with a much lighter wallet than the one you had yesterday, you spent a good proportion of last night telling your crush that they had a pleasing neck structure and that you wanted to eat carrot cake with them in a graveyard, and that you challenged the guy in your IR tutorial to a fistfight in the carpark. 

Let me answer the two questions that will have occurred to you over the course of reading that paragraph. Firstly, no, none of the above has ever happened to me, but if I drank more on nights out it probably would. Secondly, yes I’m aware that these are extreme examples I’ve given, but they make a wider point. People tend to drink on nights out because, mainly, it gives them the courage to do things they wouldn’t do sober. But if your only motivation to do something is the fact that you’re drunk, it isn’t something you should be doing anyway.  

The same logic applies to the other justification for getting sloshed on a night out – that it lets you enjoy yourself more. Again, I sort of see the appeal of this one. Alcohol is a great social lubricant, and one of the easiest ways of getting good feeling flowing is to get alcohol flowing too. But it’s not essential. If you and the people you’re out with can’t maintain a decent level of banter while sober, then you don’t need more alcohol, you just have unfunny friends. Sorry you had to hear that from me.   

To sum things up, drinking on a night out might bring some advantages, but these are transitory, temporary, especially when balanced against the pain – physical, emotional and financial – that it can and does cause. Give it up, and your life will greatly improve.  

Oh, and also I’m trying to stop drinking, and it kind of sucks being the only sober one on a night out. So lend a hand here.

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